“If there’s anything I’ve learned in my nearly 30 years in marketing, it’s that the only ones who survive the industry are the ones who adapt quickly…what would you do with those extra two hours?”
Giselle Almonacid, PHD Sweden’s head of marketing and PR, talks to Dagens Media and urges the industry to use the time it would have previously spent on commuting to work on furthering its skills and knowledge.
We chose this career because we are curious people. We love to observe the outside world, capture trends and understand how the future is shaped before everyone else does. Curious people like change because there is more to learn and observe, but unfortunately it takes more than a curious mind to survive in our industry. We need to adapt.
During my career I have lost many fantastic colleagues. They were intelligent, extremely talented and loved advertising, but they did not have the stamina to survive in our ever-evolving industry.
In my first job, we did not have computers, and all media plans were made with paper and pen. When the move came, some of my colleagues fell by the wayside. They couldn’t understand how computers could help us work out relevant plans for our customers.
The rest of us knew we had to complete endless computer courses to understand this new way of working. Little did we realise the many unique challenges that lay ahead of us.
In the 1990s internet development raced ahead and once again more talented colleagues departed. Development was unstoppable, and my simple original media plan with a 30-second TV spot turned into a complex spreadsheet with countless versions and channels.
Technology changes, and getting people’s behaviour to develop and following consumer trends are not always easy tasks. Ads that were once admired by everyone, perfectly retouched models showing expensive clothes, are nowadays perceived as fake and superficial.
Fast forward; whilst we have had many financial crises, many bankruptcy agencies, many outdated brands, at the same time we’ve also seen many new opportunities arise.
We must be flexible, we must be enduring, but above all, we must be open to continuously learning new things. It is these characteristics that distinguish us from many other professional groups around us. We have to adapt quickly, which is why I love marketing.
Back to my original question, what do I do with the extra two hours a day that I earn from not commuting? I do what I have been doing all these years; I take the time to learn and adapt to the new reality that surrounds me.
The advantage is that today’s education is widely available compared to how it was several years ago. I do not need to invest thousands of dollars, just the hours that I now have to spare.